Thursday, June 21, 2012

The Brazill Connection: Noir Author Paul Brazill Speaks Out

 "Hey barkeep, give me another and make it a double. I just read another Zandri novel."

It's amazing how small the world is becoming, and how with the advent of social media and digital publishing, like-minded people (oh shit, I mean "Peeps" in the vernacular of the historical present) are now able to gravitate together to form a kind of family. Noir author and hard-boiled writer Paul Brazil is a member of my family or tribe, even though I have never met him in the flesh and he is an Englishman who lives in Poland. He is a brother/sibling, along with the likes of Heath Lowrance from Detroit (actually, I think it's possible that Heath and Paul are the same man, but I have no way of verifying this), Les Edgerton from Indiana, Ben Sobieck from Wisconsin, Enzo Body Cold and Alessandra Bucheri from Rome (Ok, I've had the pleasure of meeting the latter two this past Spring), and so many more. 

Paul has been responsible for putting together some great collections of short hard-boiled fiction, not the least of which is the popular Drunk on the Moon series and Brit Grit. He is an award winning novelist and short story writer and just an all around great noir afficianado and dude knows way more about the dark world I try to inhabit everyday through my little books and stories than I ever will know. Today he speaks to us about TV. Gritty crime dramas coming at you from both sides of the big drink (Atlantic Ocean, that is). Admittely, I haven't seen any of them since I rarely do TV, but now that I've read the blog that follows I am going to make a point of taking a peak. Who knows, I might actually find something here that's as good as the old Rockford Files series. It's got to be good of Paul Brazill recommends it.

Guest Blog: U S Grit – In Praise Of Southland
by Paul D. Brazill
There’s been a lot of talk about Brit Grit recently- usually from me - and, more specifically, Brit Grit television - edgy, realistic crime drama such as  Cracker, Gangsters and Luther.

The US has also been deservedly praised for producing great crime shows like The Wire and Breaking Bad, of course.
But one show that I think is due more praise and attention is surely TNT’s Southland – a cinema verite look at the rough and tumble lives of a group of LAPD police officers that was created by Emmy Award winning Anne Biderman.

I’ll admit that I only discovered Southland quite recently. I’m a fan of the film director Allison Anders, so I sought out a couple of the shows that she directed.

And it was great, raw, fast paced – and yes, gritty -stuff. Despite a slightly cheesy voice over at the start, as in other sharp American crime shows – like Justified - there was more of human life packed in one breathless 40 minute episode than most series.

But like most great television, you need to see more than the occasional episode. You need to get into it. To let it ferment.
And of late I was lucky enough to see all of Southland Season Four. And beaut stuff it was too.

Heart in the mouth tension. Realistic characters and situations. Sharp dialogue. Great performances – particularly from Michael Cudlitz, Regina King and C. Thomas Howell. Lucy Liu even guested and showed herself to be a cracking character actor.

So, if you want a short, sharp shock of US Grit, check out Southland. You won’t be disappointed.

Bio: I was born in England and now live in Poland. I started writing flash fiction and short stories at the end of 2008.  

I've since had bits and bobs published in various magazines and anthologies, including CrimeFactory, Burning Bridges, Action, Beat To A Pulp, Needle, A Twist Of Noir, Radgepacket and The Mammoth Book Of Best British Crime 8. 

I've also had two short but perfectly formed collections published -13 Shots Of Noir (Untreed Reads) and Snapshots (Pulp Metal Fiction).  

Oh, and I've edited two anthologies - True Brit Grit – with Luca Veste -(Guilty Conscience) and Drunk On The Moon (Dark Valentine Press). Times.


  1. Viewers note the incendiary biography of Mr B has been shielded from the eyes of the very young via a clever technique of white text on white background. Their innocence is payment enough.

    I'm just babbling because I haven't seen the show... sounds good though.

  2. I believe Sara Gran was involved in writing at least one season of the show...

  3. Kate, yep Vince put the child proof lock on, just in case.

    Al, you're right she did.

  4. Thanks for that, Paul. Southland has completely eluded me – I've got some serious homework to do here.

  5. If it's spoken in the same breath as BREAKING BAD, then SOUTHLAND is my next stop. Thanks, Paul.

  6. Dead on right Paul. Southland never got the recognition it deserved. I'm an absolute fan of that show. Real, hard and tells the truth. Michael Cudlitz has been good in everything he's ever done.